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Artist's foundation sues ex-owner of NYC's Chelsea Hotel, known as artist haven, over painting

NEW YORK, N.Y. - A foundation that safeguards pop artist Larry Rivers' legacy says an ex-owner of New York's Chelsea Hotel removed, and won't return, a loaned painting that hung in the lobby.

The Larry Rivers Foundation sued Joseph Chetrit (cheh-TREET') Tuesday, seeking the return of the canvas, "Dutch Masters."

The lawsuit says "Dutch Masters" was removed after Chetrit bought the artist-friendly hotel in 2011 and began renovations.

The foundation says his management rebuffed demands to return the painting.

A Chetrit (cheh-TREET') representative had no immediate comment. He has sold his stake in the hotel.

The foundation values the late 1970s painting at $250,000 or more. The lawsuit says Rivers lent it to the hotel around 1998. He died in 2002.

The hotel has drawn artists and musicians including Bob Dylan and Patti Smith.

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